“My goal is to carry on the tradition with the secrets of the craft, inherited from generations, shaping creations characterized by a pop and ironic design”.
The work of the creative Luigi Di Luca can be located in a field between art, design, and craftsmanship, yet it always preserves a singular independence. Founder of the artistic laboratory Luiss Perlanera in Milan, Luigi Di Luca perpetuates a family tradition of three generations of engravers on shells, mother of pearl, and coral, typical crafts of his native town Torre Del Greco.
The art of coral manufacturing is an extremely old tradition of the Vesuvian area that goes with its roots as far back as ancient Greece. Its highest peak of expression was achieved in Torre del Greco, today the undisputed capital city of artistic coral and cameo manufacturing. The history of this village, nestled in the heart of the Gulf of Naples, has always been intimately related to the fishing of this “gold of the sea”. As a result, in 1878 a school of coral engraving was founded in Torre del Greco. A centuries-old craft imbued in passionate commitment gives life to authentic masterpieces, renowned for their technical expertise and stylistic figure.
A classic and elegant style distinguishes Luigi Di Luca’s creations. The artist plays with noble materials and original shapes that are often irreverent and enriched with a shade of subtle irony. Such precious raw materials as ebony, shells, and mother of pearl are interpreted through innovative, biting solutions marked by pop cultural references.
One may take as an example his pearls, handcrafted one by one, to carve tiny skulls or brains with twisted lines, combined into necklaces and various jewels; or his artistic reinterpretation of a classical theme like the ex-votos. The observer of the numerous and diverse works by Luigi Di Luca may feel transported into a Wunderkammer: a collection of wonders and oddities, such as his unusual and original cameos worked with a painstaking technique and expertise.
His delicate bees are born from working Australian mother of pearl, or Tahitian mother of pearl, pearls, and abalone. Their brass legs are so gentle and fragile that we would gladly lay them upon us without any fear.
Surprising is the “Food Porn” line, which recreates Italian tortelli, ravioli, and traditional pasta shapes by mixing mother of pearl with precious stones. Traditional Lego characters are reproduced with the use of mother of pearl, ebony, and Madagascar shells: a childhood toy, a pop symbol par excellence, becomes here an ironic and yet refined object.
Currently Luigi Di Luca boasts collaborations with such various jewelry brands as Chanel, Mattioli, and Desquared2, in addition to publications in fashion magazines like Vogue. He also creates accessories for fashion brands and fashion shows, while his works were exhibited in jewelry boutiques, art galleries, and exclusive spaces on prestigious cruise ships.